Thursday, June 9, 1864

I wrote to my wife:


Head-Quarters Military Division of the Mississippi, Acworth Georgia, June 9,1864

Dearest Ellen,
I dont know that you can find this place on your map, but it is on the Main Road from Chattanooga into Georgia, 7 miles in front of Alatoona, 12 from Marietta & 30 from Atlanta. The army lies about this place extending east north & south. We are replenishing our wagons with ammunition, forage and provisions. The Railroad to our Rear is all in good order except the bridge across Etowah burned by the Enemy, which will soon be done. I am forced to move with due deliberation to give time for other combinations from Memphis & New Orleans on Mobile &c. But we will soon move forward to the Chattahoochee 11 miles beyond Marietta.

Johnston may fight us at the Ridge of hills just this Side of Marietta, but I think I can dislodge him and this will leave the Great Battle on or near the Chattahoochee, the passage of which he must dispute. He has a strong well disciplined army but I think we can whip him on any thing like fair terms. I will not run but head against any works prepared for us. He thinks he checked us at Dallas. I went there to avoid the Alatoona Pass, and as soon as I had drawn his Army there I Slipped my Cavalry into Alatoona Pass & moved the main army in its front, a perfect success. I never designed to attack his hastily prepared works at Dallas and New Hope Church, and as soon as he saw I was making for the Railroad around his right flank he abandoned his works and we occupied them for a moment and moved by the best Roads to our present position.

We have captured several of their mails and it is wonderful to See how the soldiers talk of driving me back to the Ohio, and their returning to their Loving families in Tennessee and Kentucky. I fear they Count without their host, as they will have an awful reckoning if they attempt to pass over or around this army.

The paucity of news from this army at this time in northern papers is most satisfactory to me. My Circular was exactly right. Every officer & soldier should Keep his friends & family advised of his own adventures & situation whilst the busy & mischievous Scribblers for newspapers are discountenanced. I Know my course is right and meets the unqualified approval of all good soldiers. The Press is angry at my term, the “cheap” flattery of the Press. We all Know that Genls. and aspirants bribe these fellows by the loan of Government horses and other conveniences not at their individual Cost, but at the Cost of the U.S. and in return receive the cheap flattery of the Press. The Press caused the war. The Press gives it point and bitterness, and as long as the Press, both North & South is allowed to fan the flames of discord & hostility, so long must the war last. The Southern Press is just the Same. As long as People look to the Press for Truth & counsel so long will war & anarchy prevail. The Liberty of the Press like that of Individuals must be restrained to just limits consistent with the good of the whole, and every fool must not be allowed to print & publish falsehood & slander as he pleases.

Blair is up, and many detachments have come forward so my army today is stronger than when I first sallied from Chattanooga.

I have received no letters from you of late and Suppose you think it unsafe. Only one mail has been captured by the Enemy and that an unimportant one. I got the Short telegraph of yesterday saying all were well. I feel anxious to hear from you more often, but Know you are all in a safe & bountiful Country. All my staff are well & have not been harmed. Colonel Taylor was wounded as he accompanied me on a tour of the Lines. He is here, but will go home as soon as the Railroad is done. Major Giesy was killed at Dallas & Rise wounded. No others of your acquaintance hurt. Of course the Real Battle is not yet fought. When it does come I will take good care to have it a big & decisive one.

Yours Ever,
W. T. Sherman

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